He is a man of peace in a violent land. He is Kwai Chang Caine, schooled in the spirit-mind-body ways of the Shaolin priesthood by the blind, avuncular Master Po and the stern yet loving master Kan. Caine speaks softly b... more »ut hits hard. He lives humbly yet knows great contentment. He is the Old West's most unusual hero. But hero is not a word Caine would use. He would simply say, "I am a man."« less
Sara F. (CowgirlSara) from CAMERON, TX Reviewed on 9/10/2010...
A classic that plays as well today as it did in the 70s
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Not the Complete First Season
Keith Sargent | Rockville, Maryland USA | 03/22/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although I have not watched all 15 episodes yet, I was disappointed to discover that a total of one to two minutes in each episode were cut. While the short scenes that were cut were not crucial, they do create noticeable gaps in the smooth telling of the story.It appears that the master tape used to make the DVD was not taken from the original series, but from a shortened version that was edited to make room for additional commercials when the show was shown in recent years. The total run time for each episode is 50 minutes.It is also not "complete" because the top and bottom of the screen have been cut to make it fit a widescreen format.I purchased the DVD because, although I had recorded the series on VHS, I did not have all the episodes. Therefore, I am happier with the DVD than without it; but I can only give it three stars since this is not the "complete first season." It has been cropped and shortened."
Horrible cropping of image is unacceptable...AVOID!
S. Phillips | Las Vegas, NV United States | 03/22/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"A TV series from 1972 is not intended for widescreen presentation. The original image has been cropped, cutting off heads, feet, and other things in the process. I am all for widescreen presentations of widescreen movies, because I want to see the image as intended. However, in this case, they are doing the opposite, by changing the image to fit new 16X9 monitors, they have destroyed the original composition.Do not sit still for this. Can you image I LOVE LUCY with the top and bottom of the picture cropped out? The converyor belt scene in the chocolate factory would be ruined....Widescreen movies and recent widescreen TV shows should be widescreen on DVD, no question.However, older non-widescreen movies and TV series should be presented as intended, not edited and cropped to placate owners of 16X9 sets who don't know any better. Besides, if those owners want to crop the images to fit their widescreens, they can do so with a button on their remotes. Cropping a 32 year old TV series? Ridiculous."
Excellent portrayal of Shaolin philosophy
cyclista | the Midwest | 02/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Caine, a Chinese-American immigrant, conflicts with a violent 1870's American West as he seeks a way of peace. The conflict that he feels within himself as a peaceful man who practices martial arts is portrayed excellently. The flashbacks that he has of conversations and lessons in a Shaolin temple are a glimpse into another world. An outstanding series.A brief episode guide:
Pilot: Kung Fu: The Way of the Tiger, The Sign of the Dragon. Caine flees to the United States after killing the Emperor's nephew.
1. King of the Mountain: A bounty hunter looking for Caine endangers a woman rancher and a homeless boy. guest star (gs): John Saxon.
2. Dark Angel: Caine helps a blinded preacher learn to use his other senses. gs: Robert Carradine, John Carradine.
3. Blood Brother : Caine seeks justice for a murdered friend.
4. An Eye for An Eye: A rape victim wants Caine's help to get revenge. (This episode won Emmy's for best director and cinematographer.)
5. The Tide: A woman with an ulterior motive helps a seriously injured Caine.
6. The Soul Is the Warrior: Caine helps a sheriff facing death.
7. Nine Lives: A miner looks for a cat to replace the cat he accidentally killed. gs: Geraldine Brooks.
8. Sun and Cloud Shadow: Caine acts as intermediary between Chinese miners and a mine owner.
9. Chains: Caine escapes from prison shackled to another prisoner.
10. Alethea: A young girl testifies that she saw Caine murder a man. gs: Jodie Foster.
11. The Praying Mantis Kills: A young boy defends the jail against the men who killed his father.
12. Superstition: When Caine is forced to work in a mine, a landslide traps him inside.
13. The Stone: In a story about a large uncut diamond, Caine becomes involved with a former Brazilian slave and three boys seeking revenge. gs: Gregory Sierra.
14. The Third Man: A gunman kills a gambler who had already been attacked by thieves. gs: Sheree North.
15. The Ancient Warrior: An dying Indian warrior wants to die at his burial place, in the middle of an Indian-hating town."
Love and destruction
S. Phillips | 04/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was 11, and I loved this series. I love it now, at 43. A gentle man tries to survive while doing as little damage as possible, and sometimes offering a bit of help. However skillfully written or choreographed the episodes were, the central message of kindness remained. I see many flaws today that I didn't at age 11, but who cares? Caine was one of my most beloved teachers. That will never change.I subtract TWO STARS for the cropping. I swear it did not even occur to me to look at the box for the ratio! Who on earth would crop a TV show? Listen, I always check the ratio on films, and I was in the vanguard of widescreen proponents, in the 80's when no one gave a damn about it. But the whole point is to RETAIN INFORMATION, to avoid destruction of the artist's creation. Somebody decided Kung Fu did not deserve that much respect. They were wrong.So I have mixed feelings. I'm sorry I bought the tattered version, but I have watched a few episodes and they made me as happy as they did in 1972. Clean look, clean sound. If you love this series, buy it and enjoy it. But I am still hoping for an untattered version. If they produce that, I will buy it instantly, and give the widescreen version to an 11 year old."
Tape to DVD - frame by frame comparison - choped
Troy Edwards | MANCHESTER, NH USA | 03/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I own the tape version of the pilot movie, so I did a frame by frame comparison (first frame when scenes change was how I marked frames)Unquestionably, they choped the top and bottom (indiscriminately too), and NOTHING extra on the sides.4 stars for the series: Despite the fact that the fighting looked like it was choreographed by 3rd graders. The wisdom, while clear, was subtle (unlike the 2nd series, where it was done to impress - look at me, I'm saying something you don't understand), the flashbacks were well intergrated, and the stories were just plain great.2 stars for the DVD: OK, the color was much improved upon over the tape. Unfortuanately it goes downhill fast from there. Artifacts and scratches were not removed. And, after a frame by frame comparison (see above details), it was clearly choped. What's worse, is that there was no effort made to scan up or down when needed.There are many times when they could have made the cut completely off the bottom, without affecting the scene at all. Yet instead, they decided to just cut off the same distance from top and bottom, and cut off a piece of someone's head!? All that said, the series was good enough, and the price cheap enough, that I'll probably buy the next two seasons when they come out."